New Type of strikes ? IBM faces Second Life strike

24 08 2007

Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria IBM Vimercate (RSU), the official trade union representing IBM’s 9,000 workers in Italy, is planning a most novel form of industrial action – a strike on Second Life – and it wants as many avatars as possible manning the picket lines.

Details are sketchy as how this will work my initial reaction was to laugh but as company’s  use  web2.0  to market and communicate with the public – the register has some interesting comments on how this may actually work as a way to raise issues.

The RSU say (translation from the reg) origional is here (err comrades you need get the site to work better in Ie7)

It seems that the reasons for this first virtual strike are related to the renew of the internal agreement. While IBM is one of the company with major profits, its employees are receiving very few fruits of this big mountain of money.

The internal climate is below all the IT industries (taking advantages for the famous IBM’s competitor: HP), and the drop that overflowed the glass is the long and inconclusive negotiation for the internal agreement. While the works council, supported by the majority of IBM Italy employees, was asking for a small salary increase, IBM responded with the complete suppression of the “productive results benefit”, with a loss for a single employee of €1000 per year. For a company that wants to lead the corporate social responsibility, this is really too much.

wether this would work in the uk i’me not sure have avatars walk arounhd around uncle bens second life hang out and make cruel remarks about maybe 🙂 though I suspect Ben might have a job explaining web2.0 and social media to some board members.


Connect Rejects BT’s miserly pay offer

4 05 2007

Connect Rejects BT Final pay Offer

The company has now put its final offer on 2007 pay to the union. Connect is recommending that this offer be rejected in a members’ e-ballot to take place between 11-22 May.

More info on the  main site here

Vodafone union recognition dispute

14 03 2007

The Register has a short piece on the ongoing efforts by Connect to achieve recognition and collective bargaining at Vodaphone.

Changing Unions in a Changing World

28 02 2007

Influential trade union think-tank, Unions 21, is organising a series of events in four different British cities. Connect South will be attending the meeting in London and reporting back (hopefully during the event). We also hope to bring you a podcast from the conference.

  • Keynote address by David Miliband MP with responses from Chris Keates (NASUWT General Secretary) and Debbie Coulter (GMB Deputy General Secretary)
  • Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary
  • Unions and the Changing Political World: Tony Dubbins (Amicus Deputy General Secretary and Chair of TULO) will present his thoughts concerning the trade union link with the Labour Party, party funding and the implications for the wider movement.

  • Connects ULR Site Launched

    16 02 2007

    Connect has launched the Connectlearning website today. A major new resource is now available at:

    It will:

    ·         Provide information on our Union Learning Rep (ULR) project

    ·         Enable members to find out more about becoming a ULR

    ·         Provide advice, support and information for ULRs

    ·         Enable ULRs to network with each other, share information and build their own community

     ·         Provide access to other relevant web sites

    EX CBI Chief Hired as Skills envoy

    6 12 2006

    The Guardian reports that:

    “Gordon Brown has appointed the former chief of British industry, Sir Digby Jones, as his “skills envoy”.

    Sir Digby was enlisted by the chancellor two weeks ago ahead of the Leitch review recommendation that employers be given almost total control of the national skills budget”

    While a good idea in principal the CBI’s and IOD’s track record in that area is not exactly good is it?

    So that will be a specialised course in “wining and moaning and asking for a hand out from the public rather than training your workforce” then? I thought the farmers had that little racket all tied up!

    What the technical professions really need is someone like Clarkson to lead this initiative, (you may hate him but he does understand engineering well). Then we need to provide some form of subsidy or tax incentive for professional training (both in and out of the workplace) and engineering degrees.

    21st Century Network

    5 12 2006

    Is there a place for Connect South and
    Trade Unions in today’s world?
    Well, the answer to me, (a committed
    trade unionist), is of course, a resounding


    The question from my frame of
    reference is essentially a ‘no-brainer’, because
    in the past ten years, I have seen at first hand
    the benefits of being a trade union member,
    both from a personal perspective and at
    second hand by seeing other members benefit
    greatly from being in Connect.
    The more interesting aspect is ‘How
    best can trade unions generally and Connect
    specifically make themselves seen to be
    relevant in a 21CN world’ and more
    especially, ‘Why do non-trade unionists have
    such a negative view of trade unions’? With
    its subsequent impact on recruitment and
    membership numbers.

    Being a trade unionist is a numbers
    game – the more of us there are the more
    effective we can be and without a critical
    mass of membership, we are powerless.
    Some things are timeless and the need
    for an organisation to exist which tries to
    address the intrinsic imbalance in the power
    relationship in the workplace is one of these.
    The employer has all the good cards
    and God loves the big battalions’ etc. etc.
    if trade unions did not exist, then believe
    me, they would very quickly be ‘invented’.

    The mystery to me is more about
    how or why this self-evident truth (to me) is
    not shared by large parts of the working

    Essentially I believe this to be one of
    a misconception in general by people who
    know little or nothing about trade unions
    (because they work in a non-unionised
    environment) about what modern trade
    unions are really all about; which is
    representing their members and protecting
    their rights at work.

    This is particularly true in the
    environment that Connect South work in –
    representing members in small work places
    with no company based trade union
    structure in place to protect them.
    In practice the biggest single thing
    that we as an organisation (and more
    specifically as a local branch) do for our
    members who come to us with a problem, is
    incredibly simple.

    We advise them of their rights and
    help to them to secure these rights.
    Simple in essence, in practice often
    complex and stressful to secure. An
    individual seeking redress against a big
    company is as a lamb to the slaughter.
    On their own they have little to no
    chance of success. With us they have at
    least a fighting chance.
    This is why people would be daft not
    to have the back-up of a professional
    structure in experts in Workplace Law to
    hand when the time calls. i.e. join a trade